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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Teaching vacancies throughout Arizona have increased by more than 150 positions compared to last year, a report said.

The Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association released the report last week saying a quarter of teaching positions in the state are vacant, Arizona Daily Star reported.

The report identified 1,846 vacancies out of the 209 school districts and charter schools that participated in the statewide survey.

The survey found about 1,000 teachers statewide either abandoned or resigned from their teaching positions during the first half of the school year.

The report found Pima County's nine largest school districts including Tucson Unified School District began the school year with 19% less vacancies than last year.

District officials have said it is better, but still not good.

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The declining vacancies can be attributed to teacher raises, a streamlined hiring process, more innovative leadership within schools, and a stronger student code of conduct, officials said.

The report also found that about 4,000 or half the teaching positions are filled by teachers who do not meet the state's certification requirements.

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